Riverdale is burning to the ground, people are running amok like zoo animals, everyone is turning on each other and it is everything that Hiram Lodge has always dreamt of.
This week’s episode was borderline too much. Too many reveals, too much violence, too much for this small town to handle. The dark overtones are rapidly increasing, and I fear this show is going to go into a direction that no one expected, one of possibly dark magic? At some point, Betty is going to get so fed up with everything — I have no idea how she’s still processing everything — and will go nuclear.
What happened to a little bit of darkness and mystery intertwined with a normal high school drama and strained parent-child relationships? When did everything get so grim and morbid? Briefly, I forgot I was watching Riverdale and felt like I’d tuned into a slasher flick.
The Black Hood is back in full swing to take on the sinners of Riverdale which at the beginning of the episode is apparently Cheryl Blossom.
Following the popular theory that Hal Cooper is the Black Hood, Cheryl being targeted would make sense considering Betty just informed him that together they broke into his motel.
But Cheryl goes from classic horror movie screaming girl (she’s good at it too) to a devilish Robin Hood in a heartbeat and doesn’t hesitate to shoot the BH in the arm. Supernatural teasings? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
She calls cousin Betty (I crack up every time she says it) to warn her that her father is now an injured animal out for blood who he will hunt down even his own cubs. Yeah, it’s all really bizarre but this is Riverdale so Betty believes it because, on some twisted level, she already knows it’s her dad.
When she finds out that he’s checked into the ER, she rushes over only to find that he’s killed the doctor. If doctors are as scares as cops in this town, he really just messed up. Hal orders Betty to come home and threatens to slit her mother’s throat if she doesn’t. Okay, easy there Hal.
At home, we see a man that vaguely resembles the sweet and unsuspecting dad we’ve come to know. Hal shows a new, more menacing side as her orders them to side down and then plays them some home movies which basically show his mother coaxing him into some shady stuff.
Basically, the Conway’s knew that Papi Cooper killed Papi Blossom so Hal’s father, likely the original Candyman that went on a killing spree back in the day, shut them right up. Then, his mother convinced young Harold to persuade a young Svenson to point out the WRONG man in the lineup so “daddy” doesn’t go to prison. What a messed up childhood.
No wonder Hal has resorted to killing. It’s all he knows.
Throughout the video, his mother keeps repeating that they must do better and talking about sin which explains why BH wants the whole town to be rid of sinners.
He explains that Betty’s speech during a town hall about Riverdale “doing better” inspired him to pick up his father’s old habits which again, is super twisted. How do you misinterpret someone wanting the town to fix itself for “hey, can you kill a bunch of people?”
Hal also acknowledges that “darkness” inside of him which he now transferred to sweet, little Betty. How has he kept it bottled up for so long? And does this mean he believes she’s going to be the next to fall in line with this murdering family? Will she continue his missions? Obviously, she’s exhibited much interest in the case.
Alice really stuck it to him when she said he was always a mommas boy and told him that if he’s ridding sinners, he should start by removing himself first cause he’s not innocent after stepping out with Penelope. Oh, Hal, you hypocrite.
Hal would have definitely killed Alice had it not been for Betty’s decision to knock him over the head. Thank god these two have so much experience cleaning up bloody messes.
Can you even believe Hal would have killed them all in some manic sacrifice? And how offended is Polly right now that her dad doesn’t even care to kill her with the rest of the family? Talk about an outcast. Can you image her reaction when she finds all of this out?
Hal cannot be the only Black Hood because for starters, he was with Betty when some other hooded figure shot up the debate.
Hal acted like he had no idea who that person was but seeing his face in the cab after Archie and Mr. Andrews came walking by made me believe he knew the other person hiding behind the mask.
Does he have a twin? And if so, who?
I can’t imagine that Hal would attack Mr. Andrews simply because he slept with Hermione.
And seriously, I whooped in joy when Fred knocked out the Black Hood only to find myself cringing at at how stupid he was to turn his back on the man pointing a gun.
Thank god for those bullet-proof vests, courtesy of Sheriff Keller. He may not be running things in this town anymore but damn, the new guy isn’t off to a great start either.
For starters, Riverdale is clearly so messed up, they need more than one sheriff and a few patrolmen. Y’all need the National Guard to come in or something.
Cause as of right now, it’s just the town’s hottest dads teaming up to restore order. Not that I’m complaining or anything but still they probably need reinforcements.
They are out here braving the streets and looking like a damn snack. Can we have a show about just the dads? Please and thank you!
The Logde’s are completely ruthless but also, complete wimps.
On the most dangerous night in town, Hermione was at the Chronicle continuing to campaign while Veronica was turning over Mrs. Clump to the police for killing Fangs.
Yeah, Fangs died and despite the Southside/Riverdale feud going down, Reggie wasn’t responsible for his death. See, I knew that gun didn’t actually go off.
The whole feud was incited by Mr. Lodge himself who wanted there to be rioting so that everyone would turn a blind eye to his maniacal plans.
But seriously? You start riots and then skip town?
And when Reggie turned to him for help after being used as his lackey, his response was, “you’re on your own.”
You know who is on their own? Hiram. For the first time ever, Hermione has finally accepted the reality that her husband is a monster who uses her as a shield and won’t ever take care of business himself.
Veronica helped her mother get there because man, Hermione really lost herself this season, moreso than any other character. Gone was the independent, no-bullshit woman we knew in season 1.
It also occurred to Ronnie that things with her father will never change when she found pictures of her affair with Fred in her father’s desk. He had no qualms about ruining two good people for his own personal gain. That’s all he’s been doing there since he came to town, she was just too busy being the doting daughter to realize. And she got Archie all messed up in it, as well.
But enough is enough. No one can stop Hiram except his own family and realistically, things have gotten way out of control.
When Papa Poutine’s crazed son came for revenge for his father’s death, he went after Hermione and Ronnie, not Hiram.
Hermione took shot him without hesitation, which again, how bold of her. Welcome back, girl. Though this likely isn’t the end of their mafia troubles!
Also, Andre is dead because no one comes out from working for the Lodge’s safely. How did they only have one measly bodyguard?
And don’t even get me started on all the Southside drama. Sometimes, when it rains it pours. Not only were they getting messy with the Northside, the Ghoulie’s came back to get revenge and they were spearheaded by #1 enemy, Penny Peabody.
At first, Penny kidnapped Toni to lure Jughead in because she’s still pissed about how he treated her. Cheryl was also there with her bow-and-arrow to save her girlfriend which may have been one of the weirdest moments of the night. And that’s saying quite a lot.
Since Jughead felt like everything that transpired as of late was his fault (kind of is), he decided to strike up a deal with Hiram, who was paying off the Ghoulies and Penny so that he could take control of Serpent land. Instead of the whole Southside gang, he would show up and take a beating.
And boy, did he.
I don’t know why Jughead thought being a martyr was better than being outnumbered with a full gang? Where is the logic?
If Hiram wanted to Southside so badly, why did he settle for just taking out Jug? Is one kid really such an obstacle? Even his own daughter is beginning to see right through him.
Penny even told him “this sacrifice is for nothing” — he foolishly believed Hiram would just let it go.
After he called to tell Betty goodbye, she informed FP who immediately realized what hs son was doing.
When they all arrived, FP came out distraught, holding a beat up, bloodied Jughead who, in turn, had his serpent tattoo sliced right off.
Oh, Jughead. You thought you had this whole gang thing figured out.
I’m surprised the Ghoulies had every chance to end him and just left him alive.
So yeah, like I said, lots of darkness to unpack here. And going into the season finale, I just don’t know where any of us stand.
It’s almost like we need some supernatural entities to stop Riverdale from combusting.
What happened to Penelope and Clifford and their whole plan? Who is the second Black Hood? Is Hal innocent and just pretending because the BH will kill him otherwise? Why is Hiram so gosh-darn evil even to his own family? Will Jughead survive?
- Cheryl’s horror scream is perfection!
- Archie throwing Molotov cocktails from the roof of Pop’s was comical.
- The Ghoulies really need to get over their KISS obsession. It’s not cute.
- There was apparently a bounty for the Black Hood’s head. Does that mean Betty and Alice are $1 million richer?
‘Riverdale’ Season 7 Hits Netflix—Stream It Now
Riverdale’s seventh and final season is now available to stream on Netflix in the U.S.!
Merely a week after the long-running CW series aired its final episode ever, the streaming giant has added the series in its entirety.
All the episodes are available for fans all over the world to binge-watch on September 1, and going into a long weekend, that gives you plenty of time to catch up on all the shenanigans happening in the Town with Pep.
Many fans weren’t interested in the weekly release model as it wasn’t ideal having to wait for new episodes to drop every week, but having them available all at once on Netflix allows you to catch up with ease.
And if you’ve never seen Riverdale and are curious about all the nutty twists and turns that eventually get all of our characters to—spoiler—the 1950s, well, all seven seasons are on the streamer for your viewing pleasure.
You can rewatch those previous seasons and relive the series in all its glory (including anything you may have missed/forgotten about), or you can just tune in for the final season—it’s up to you!
As mentioned before, the final season hit the reset button of sorts as Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), and Veronica (Camilla Mendes), along with many of their loved ones and friends, went back in time to 1955 and found themselves reliving their high school days all over again.
Of course, as you rewatch any and all episodes, you can read all our reviews of the series that we’ve covered since its inception in 2017!
Enjoy your Labor Day travels to Riverdale—just remember that before it was redubbed the “Town With Pep” it was known as “Murder Town of the World.” You’ve been warned.
Riverdale Series Finale Review – Goodbye to the Town With Pep (720)
Riverdale was never the show that played it safe, always surprising us with its kooky, outlandish storylines. There was no telling where the plot would go, but it was always the journey and not the destination that kept fans hooked. And that journey ended tonight, so despite the ending—whether it was what you wanted or not—let’s raise a milkshake to those characters and the memories that we’ve created with them.
One major takeaway from the finale is that it was always about the core four and their friendship that drove the series, right down to the very end as they met in the “sweet hereafter,” a time frozen in place where they were all 17, young, beautiful, and full of hope, just like we’ve always known them and will always remember them.
The foursome, sitting at a booth in Pop’s, eating burgers and sipping on milkshakes while sharing a laugh is how Riverdale started—and through every timeline and wacky storyline—it’s where they ended up. It’s a full-circle moment, right down to Jughead Jones, the narrator, delivering the first and final lines of the series. Also, was Riverdale just a fictional story written by him all along? He’s wearing his modern-day clothes (the Serpent shirt), addressing the camera, and you can hear his typewriter going off in the background as if he’d finally concluded his story… possibly the story he was writing when the Comet went off?
It’s truly been one heck of a run, and my condolences to those fans who didn’t get the endgame they were hoping for, but let’s take comfort in the fact that this is just one universe, one timeline, and the beauty of Riverdale, as they’ve shown us, is that it exists throughout multiverses. I’m willing to bet there’s a timeline where Archie and Betty do end up together with a family as they have existed as endgame in at least 2 timelines.
It seemed as though for once, the creator/writers took no chances, appeasing all of the ships at once (and letting them all down simultaneously by not committing to any) by giving us a quad/foursome with Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica all in a romantic relationship together throughout their senior year of high school. After getting their memories back from Tabitha Tate, they couldn’t just shake the feelings that they had previously or the new ones that developed now, so they simply chose to love without boundaries. Why choose when you don’t have to seems like a pretty free approach for the ’50s, but they were living within the constraints of the time period with modern values, so it’s fitting and shocking all in the same breath.
There were, however, plenty of special moments to honor the ships that formed, including Betty and Archie’s final romantic kiss where he suggested that he thought it was going to be them in the end (because it started with them, a boy and girl living next door to each other), which has to count for something, right? The love was always there up until the end. Betty told Angel Jughead/Narrator Jughead that she never regretted not getting married, but I would say the photo on her nightstand of Archie so many years later, along with the excitement of seeing him through her bedroom window once again was proof that things would’ve been different had Archie returned from his trip out West. She even hinted that they were endgame as she didn’t need Jughead to remind her of how Archie’s story played out as she fully remembered it because she loved him her whole life.
In some way, this is one of Riverdale’s most realistic and normal storylines (and also quite grim and dark, even by their standards, when you factor in that the whole episode was just about getting old and dying)—saying goodbye to the life you once had, a life that slips away so quickly and in the blink of an eye that you barely notice. It dug into human emotions that everyone understands. The people who watched Riverdale from the moment it landed on The CW in 2017 were likely in high school/starting college at the time, but now, they are young adults with families who are starting to realize just how quickly things change and memories fade. Before you know it, the good moments have passed you by, and you’ll never get them back. We’re the adults now who are harboring so much nostalgia, and this realization hits very close to home.
In addition to that one final scene with Archie and Betty, there was plenty for Bughead fans to work with. The hero of the series was always Archie, and yet, he had one of the smallest roles this season and in this finale, with Betty and Jughead obviously taking center stage for one last walk through the Town with Pep. And I have to admit that when Jughead grabbed Betty’s hand after saying he “sometimes” regrets not getting married, I got chills. She may have always loved Archie, but I think his love for her never withered away.
There was always such a deep connection between them, and in a way, I was seeing Lily Reinhart and Cole Sprouse appreciate all that’s transpired between them up until this moment—the good times and the heartbreak.
In a perfect world, you stay friends with all of the people you went to high school with, but more often than not, that isn’t the case. People embark on different paths and go their separate ways. It’s unfortunate that it happened in the case of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead as they were all soulmates, but they all pursued different interests in search of their legacy.
The episode took a huge time-jump, bringing the series into the present day, with sweet old Betty as an 86-year-old reading the Jughead’s obituary with her granddaughter Alice next to her. She’s reminiscing on her life—the good old days, as the adults would often say—when Jughead’s ghost appears and gives her one last day in high school, which allows her to get some closure as to what happened to all her classmates indicating that she didn’t keep in touch with any of them. The unique approach to the storytelling also allowed the series to give fans an update on how everyone’s life played out in a quick and succinct way, while also sending each one of them off with a proper goodbye.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Betty became a magazine publisher of She Says Magazine, which women are still reading in the present, before adopting her daughter, Carla, and becoming a grandmother to Alice, which she says was her true legacy.
- Archie moved to Modesto, California where he settled down with a sweet, strong girl who makes him laugh. He has a beautiful family and works as as professional construction worker and amateur writer who requests to be buried in Riverdale next to his late father upon his death.
- Jughead becomes the Editor-in-Chief of Jughead’s Madhouse Magazine which produces juvenile satire comics. He never gets married.
- Veronica makes it big in Hollywood. She’s the top dog, producing the most iconic movies of their time and winning two Oscars.
- Cheryl and Toni stay together, making their way out west at a Craftsman house where they work alongside artists and activists. Cheryl becomes an incredible painter whose work is shown in galleries and museums across the country and Europe. They also have a sweet boy named Dale, named after Riverdale, and played by Vanessa Morgan’s real-life son, River. Congrats on your acting debut, little one.
- Kevin and Clay also get the ending they deserve, living a spirited life in Harlen together. Clay is a tenured professor at Columbia, while Kevin runs an off-Broadway theater company. Kevin died at 82 in his sleep, while Clay passed a few weeks later peacefully on a park bench. Soulmate stuff.
- Reggie made it to the pros, drafted by the Lakers, working off-seasons at his family farm. When his folks passed away, he sold the land and began coaching at Riverdale High. He was buried in Duck Creek next to his wife and parents. His two sons took up the torch on Mantle Motors.
- Alice ended up not only being a flight attendant but also stepping in during a time of crisis and landing a plane before marrying a grateful passenger who showed her the world. As for Polly, she welcomed two twins, Juniper and Dagwood, and lived a fulfilled and happy life, though she never returned to performing. The mother-daughter duo also made amends, which was nice to see. No mention of what happened to Hal, but we also don’t care.
- Fangs and Midge unfortunately didn’t get their happily ever after. Fangs did make it big, but his stardom was shortlived following an accident on the Rocky Mountains that left no survivors. His fame and fortune did, however, provide a good life for Midge and their daughter. It’s an unfortunate outcome, but it’s also a realistic one—not everyone is lucky enough to grow old.
- Mrs. Andrews bought the dress shop and connected with Brooke, who moved into the Andrews household shortly after and stayed till the end. If any of the parents in town deserved a happy ending, it was Archie’s mother.
- Pop Tate passed away in 1956 as their senior year began, though he was still serving burgers and milkshakes in eternity… it was a nice touch for Betty to make it a point to visit his grave since he was so crucial to the series and the town of Riverdale.
While some ships definitely got their perfect (and much deserved!) endgame, it’s fair for those who wanted a little more for Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica, particularly when it came to the love lives that we’ve been so invested in. I’d say that I’d rather the series adopted the endings that they had back in the 2023 timeline, but alas.
It’s strange that the memories of what came before and the ones they created in this current timeline weren’t enough to keep everyone connected and in each other’s orbit. Trauma usually bonds people, so it would have made sense for them to gravitate toward each other more than ever after realizing that they existed in a different life before this one. The scene at Pop’s once Betty died would’ve made slightly more sense had they all remained friends, but I guess it also stands as a reunion of sorts, when you try to get back to the glory days before life got too busy, things got in the way, and time slipped away.
Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the genuine excitement that teen Betty exhibited upon seeing all of her friends and family members once again. It had been 67 years for her, but for them, not a moment had passed. It serves as a reminder that we take the present for granted all too often, but it doesn’t last very long, and one day, we’ll be dreaming of a time when we can see certain loved ones just one more time. I thought the sentiment was beautifully executed.
And finally, there was Archie’s poem, which addressed the day one fans. It honestly read more like a roast of everything that’s happened over the course of seven seasons and was way funnier than it should have been (who knew Archie had it in him?). It also felt like a brief moment when we were back with the original versions of the characters one last time—with references to the cult, multiple Reggie’s, Jughead’s teacher jumping out of a window, Cheryl locking Jason up in a basement, Veronica’s magical powers, the Serpents, and even Betty’s tangerine serial killer gene. These were the storylines that meant so much to audiences—as crazy as they were— so while these characters may have embraced their destinies in the ’50s (and how were they just so content knowing the internet would eventually exist but not having it? You’d think since they knew about the invention of the internet and modern technology, they’d find a way to keep in touch better than anyone), it was nice to see a glimpse of what once was, knowing that all of those moments weren’t entirely ignored and overlooked.
Some have questioned how Riverdale lost the plot so badly, but I think they just wanted to deliver something more heartfelt and thought-provoking than focusing on relationships, bringing back the focus on friendships that change you for the better and shape your life.
The bottom line is that Riverdale will always be home—as will these characters, whichever iteration of them you connected with, which I think is the main point of the finale. Live in the moment, appreciate your loved ones, and never take anything for granted.
Goodbye, Riverdale—Series Finale Photos + Promo Are a Stroll Down Memory Lane
Riverdale is hoping that you’ll be in your feels watching the series finale next week.
And it’s hard not to considering this show has been on the air since 2017—we’ve practically grown up with these characters, though, considering Angel Tabitha’s recent visit to 1955, they aren’t exactly the ones we’ve come to adore and love.
In the penultimate episode, it was revealed that the 2023 timeline no longer exists, and everyone is now stuck in the ’50s indefinitely, though as a parting gift, Tabitha was able to return the memories of their former life, with Jughead and Betty the only two characters who opted to remember both the good and bad moments for a full picture of who they once were.
And that leads us into the synopsis for the upcoming series finale, Riverdale Season 7 Episode 20:
NOW LEAVING RIVERDALE — Back in present day and longing for her former life in Riverdale, 86-year-old Betty (Lili Reinhart) turns to a special friend to help her relive her last day of senior year with her friends as they were, their memories restored. KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Madchen Amick, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Vanessa Morgan and Drew Ray Tanner also star. The episode was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (#720).
The present-day, from my understanding, in 2023, though instead of being young adults, they are now in their mid-80s and taking a trip down memory lane, going back to their last day of high school one final time. The trailer and the extended trailer are filled with plenty of heartwarming moments between the cast, including a final milkshake between the core four at Pops, and even a sweet moment between #Barchie that will seemingly finally give fans exactly what they’ve been waiting for all season!
And hopefully, audiences will get to see how things panned out for all of the characters after finding out that, despite growing up in an era where technology existed, they had to start over as teens in the ’50s.
Check out the promo below:
— Riverdale After Dark: A Riverdale Podcast (@RiverdaleDark) August 17, 2023
There are also a handful of pictures from the final episode that will hopefully provide fans with plenty of closure, along with some insight into which ships are going to get a happy ending and which ones will fade away along with a town “once lost in time.”
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